Featured Poems

All Buildings Look like Temples

by on January 16, 2018 :: 0 comments

I put on a mask
who am I fooling
abstraction, regardless
it all comes out the same
what do I do with a moment?
the possibilities reside
in savory endlessness
let’s talk about
what my behavior would look like
if I slipped up for one second
“a fake”
who said that?
out of sync
with the fabric
is that what you thought would happen?
7 days ago
it’s unrelated
& seemingly irrelevant
I’ll let you fill in the blanks
there’s an idea in your head
what were you thinking?
maybe if we move a little bit
then, I’ll feel better
it’s a little more abstract
less personal
the opposite –
is that what you were going for?
I propose
a vulnerable maneuver
grafted onto expectations
no craft –
are you ready to ensue?
did you see that car passing swiftly by you?
I laugh –
no, did you?
it was the corner of the eye
you get the beers
I got the shot
but what’s the difference
this is to my fellow instrument

editors note:

Rancorous cacophony or resonant chord; keep those shots coming. – mh clay

Lunch Poem

by on January 15, 2018 :: 0 comments

All we had to worry about
was where to have lunch. We had
time, money, health, happiness. The pursuit
of lunch down a wide avenue
with restaurants on every corner
was all we had to worry about. And yet
you worried about everything
from war in the Middle East
to ISIS to sepsis to asteroids
to your daughter’s histrionic personality disorder
to climate change to trolls. Please pass
the arugula salad, I said.
There was a brief pause
as you watched me pile lettuce, pine nuts,
cherry tomatoes, slices of ripe avocado
onto my plate. Then you resumed worrying
about the polar bears, the deficit, the flu,
North Korea, Russia, nuclear winter
while I stared out the window
of a fine restaurant in a glass city
in the second decade of the 21st century
and chewed.

editors note:

Some can chew what others find hard to swallow – no worries. – mh clay


by on January 14, 2018 :: 0 comments

The cardboard will lie flat if we want it to. We can lie flat if we want to. We can be a fortress if we want to be. We could keep the washing machines in their boxes. We could stack them into a castle. The dishes would be dirty, but we would be safe. I don’t plan on flattening anything anymore. I plan on becoming a pile of my own efforts. I plan on stacking these poems until his flame loses the oxygen it needs to flourish.

editors note:

For the most part, we feel attention to this specific person only fuels his fire. However, Darren’s poem brings to light the very point: No oxygen, no fire! Fill in the blank with whatever, or whomever, raises your ire. Give that/them none of your air. (This poem comes from Darren’s new collection, A Fire Without Light, released this December by Nixes Mate Books. Get your copy here.) – mh clay

The Only Thing

by on January 13, 2018 :: 0 comments

for Victor Clevenger and Everette Maddox

written down
on the bathroom wall
of the maple leaf bar


tell my mother i love her

somewhere the marrow
of our speech
is always
faint praise

& we are all veterans
of some invisible war

but we still need these memories
& plenty of paper towels
to wash our hands.

editors note:

Soap for the soul – wash up, now. (We welcome John to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


by on January 12, 2018 :: 0 comments

As veils all slowly lift,
Clouds in slickest swirls shift,
Slide, evenly horizons clear,
Lights flicker, plain and purl,
The shades of biscuity gold wicker.

Thin spikes, each kneading a sunbeam,
Soon gloriously wade the wind, themselves all calm.
In spite of the uproar, like in print an entire ream,
They land pointedly as a psalm.
They land neatly, solidly in my palm.

editors note:

Sometimes, when we catch’em, they look like this; makes us try to catch another. – mh clay

Ad campaign morning sun

by on January 11, 2018 :: 0 comments

the sun was a Pepsi-Cola sphere
painted over the tree line. hanging there
siphoning all the brown syrup color
from the river. washing every
man-made thing in highlights of
blue & red gold

the clouds were like an attentive waitress
come to take our order
as the table of the world was moved
& looking over the menu carefully
you raised your eyes
asking politely for a sunrise.

editors note:

Not something to be ordered on line, but delivered to your door, all the same (so long as your door faces East). – mh clay

False Advertising

by on January 10, 2018 :: 0 comments

Someone asked me the other day,
after a comment I made about life,
if what I was feeling was truly boredom
or a dissatisfaction that failed to distract.
A fine distinction that.
Yet my response was negative to both.

No, my ennui has more to do with disappointment.
I seem to be walking alone again in my mirage.
I probe and rummage
but there are no chimeras to be found.

Lacking, this playbill is lacking,
and it was listed as an exciting diversion
from the run-of-the-mill universe
in that advert I received in the half-life.
What the hell happened?

Refund, I want a refund!

– Charlotte Ozment

editors note:

Yes! Do I smell a class action suit here? Where do I dial in? – mh clay